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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mark Warner, The Libertarian?

The junior senator from Virginia on the costly American health care delivery system:

"The direction in which we are headed is simply not sustainable -- either for the public sector or for private industry. Failing to act will still mean cuts in health-care spending."

So if government does nothing (which would be a first), health care costs will go down?

Sweet!

Who knew Mark Warner was a conservative at heart?

Get a Clue

I read the heartrending stories in the Bristol Herald Courier and wonder if those who write them have any inkling as to what's heading our way.

One such example:
Most Vulnerable Squeezed Most By Utility Hikes
editorial

We hope you have read the four-day series on energy prices we published last week. The series was prompted by the pain and outrage local residents expressed over skyrocketing utility bills as they weather unprecedented economic strains.

The sadness and desperation felt by customers, maybe even in your own household, is easy to understand. When the utility bill comes and it’s more than your mortgage and your spouse is out of work, the logical reactions are fear, anger or despair. [link]
Sadness and desperation indeed. But nothing compared to the reaction people will have when their utility bills jump 65% after Barack Obama gets his way with greenhouse gas emissions.

What?

That's right. Your monthly AEP bill could jump from $250 to $412 (by the year 2015) in the vain and silly hope of ridding the planet of an essential chemical compound - CO2.

So say the experts:
A study by Charles River Associates puts the cost (in terms of reduced household spending per year) of [one particular cap-and-trade proposal] at $800 to $1,300 per household by 2015, rising to $1,500 to $2,500 by 2050. Electricity prices could jump by 36 to 65 percent by 2015 and 80 to 125 percent by 2050. No analysis has been done on the impact of [the proposal] on gasoline prices, but an Environmental Protection Agency study of a less stringent cap and trade bill estimates impacts of 26 cents per gallon by 2030 and 68 cents by 2050.
Now's the time to speak up. Especially those of you with the louder voice at the Herald Courier. Because the taxman cometh. In this morning's New York Times, see "House Bill for a Carbon Tax to Cut Emissions Faces a Steep Climb."

The plan is for Obama to tax AEP and for AEP to pass the cost on to you. Millions of dollars in cost. A cost to be incurred until AEP moves away from coal-fired power plants and on to ... something else ... not yet figured out.

Expect this tax to be around for a very long time.

Sadness and desperation? Hold your loved ones close. This is only the beginning.

- - -

And there's a double whammy. For those of you reeling from the temporary shutdown of the CONSOL coal mine over in Buchanan County - the largest in the state - are you holding out hope that those jobs will be returning at some point in the future? See above.

A Dangerous Sport

I have, in the past, cracked a few jokes on this weblog about the entertainment value of novice snow skiers hitting the slopes, and hitting trees, and hitting ski lift poles, and hitting each other. But there is a serious side to the sport, to be sure.

In the news:
12-year-old Va girl dies in ski accident
Associated Press

Virginia Beach, Va. (AP) -- A 12-year-old Virginia girl has died as the result of a skiing accident.

Family members say Virginia Beach resident Laila Serpe was injured at Snowshoe Mountain resort in West Virginia on Thursday. She later died at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.

Serpe was on a skiing vacation with her parents, Richard and Linda Serpe, and three brothers for spring vacation. [link]

Snowshoe, just up the road from Bland, where I live, is not Steamboat or Aspen, by any stretch of the imagination. But in some ways, it is far more dangerous. It gets more than its fair share of skiers who have never been on skis before. The resulting injuries sustained there attest to that fact.

I'm not calling for legislation - everyone going in knows the risks - but I am hoping that the parents of twelve-year-old children truly understand those risks. It's a dangerous (if exhilarating) sport. As this story will attest.

Such the shame.

Who Caused The Depression?

If you accept the notion (a fact) that the current economic crisis began with the mortgage sector meltdown, and that the mortgage industry collapsed under the weight of the millions of sub-prime loans that were written by America's lenders, and that the lenders did it at the encouragement (some say coercion) of the United States government, and that nobody in the United States government was more instrumental in making it happen than a congressman from Massachusetts whose claim to fame revolves around his having a whorehouse operating in his home without his knowledge, you'll be able to relate to this:
Let The Inquisition Start With Frank
Investor's Business Daily editorial

Congressman Barney Frank says he wants some of those responsible for our current financial meltdown to be prosecuted. And we couldn't agree more. First up in the court dock: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Even by the extraordinarily loose standards of Congress, it takes some chutzpah for someone such as Frank to suggest that he'll seek prosecutions for those behind the housing and financial crunch and for what he called "a strongly empowered systemic risk regulator."
Frank: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's point man in Washington.

Frank: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's point man in Washington.

For Frank, perhaps more than any single individual in private or public life, is responsible for both the housing market mess and subsequent bank disaster. And no, this isn't partisan hyperbole or historical exaggeration. [link]
Read the whole thing. He certainly had some help. But Barney Frank is up to his eyeballs in this.

Oh, by the way, Frank, a Democrat, was reelected in November. Which says a lot about the IQ of the people in his Massachusetts district where, I hope, unemployment is at 0%.

And It's Only Been Two Months

Mark Tabscott, with the DC Examiner, on Obama's rapid fall:
[T]he ground has shifted and the essential narrative is changing. Before, supporting Obama was an act of personal and national affirmation made all the more pleasant and attractive by the seeming reasonableness of his policy proposals and the winsomeness of his public personality . He succeeded admirably in making himself a comfortable and reassuring choice, thus making it not merely "safe" to vote for him, but positively compelling.

Now, though, the mask is off and the disconnect between rhetoric and reality is emerging as the dominant driver of the Obama narrative. The contrast is no longer between the young, personable, historic candidate Obama and a creaky, cranky old Republican White Guy, it's between what America thought it was getting in a President Obama (cool, reasonable and beyond partisanship) and what it now sees as the reality of a President Obama (government spending out of control, an uncertain hand on foreign policy, broken promises, more bureaucrats, etc. etc.).

Put another way - what we see now is neither what we were promised, nor what we expected.

Speak for yourself, man. Some of us knew it was going to be like this all along (except for the degree). Obama is exactly who he was before he went on the campaign trail and began telling all those lies that some of us continually brought up, to no avail.

Anyway, Tabscott says the bloom is off the rose. Too late for America, alas. Can the mainstream press put life back into his wilting pedals?

A warning: Never underestimate the power of his pals in the press.

Food For Thought

For those (like me) who criticized George W. Bush for running up massive deficits, here's Michael Boykin, writing in the Wall Street Journal, saying - You ain't seen nothing yet.
Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.
Will those Democrats who were so critical of the profligate Bush years now stand up and demand retribution be exacted upon Obama for much, much worse? I'll hold my breath, waiting for that to happen.

But to the rational observer, the numbers above are staggering.

And Yet They Rule

Daniel Henninger on the Democratic Party and its doleful leader:

Over the past four decades and the decline of private-sector industrial unions, professional Democrats -- politicians, intellectuals ..., campaign professionals, unions and satellite groups -- have severed their emotional and intellectual connection with private production.

Today, frontline Democrats see the private sector as doing two things: It produces tax revenue for $3.9 trillion federal budgets, and it shafts workers. The private sector in the Democratic worldview is necessary but nasty. Their leadership gives the impression of not having the simplest understanding of how an employer's life unfolds day to day.

I have a poll question: Has anyone in America had a single upbeat conversation about anything the past three weeks?

Beyond the stock market, there is a reason why, despite much goodwill toward his presidency, the Obama response to the faltering economy has left many feeling undone. There isn't much in his plan to stir the national soul. It's about "sacrifice" now so that we can live for a future of small electric cars and windmills. This may move the Democratic Party's faith communities, but it cannot revive a great nation.

Just as there were millions of leftists who cheered when Americans were being killed in Iraq, there are now the same millions who are inwardly gleeful that "the fat cats on Wall Street" are getting their comeupance, without realizing - or caring - that half of America is invested in the plunging stock market with their retirement funds and most of us are closely related to someone who has lost his job in recent months.

And yet they rule.

For now.

Can This Really Be Happening?

The cover of the next issue of National Review:

It's eerily reminiscent of the most frightening era in modern history:


Wildly hyperbolized? I sure as hell hope so.

Depression? What Depression?

Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Needless folly? What needless folly?

Adult stem cells provide real cures

As is looking ever more likely, Obama is going to fund research into a procedure that is proving to be absolutely unnecessary.

This must be a sick joke. A long-running sick joke.